Talks and Displays

Talks and Displays

Fire safety awareness displays and talks within the community are available throughout the Isle of Wight. Talks are normally at the request of community groups or organisations.

Our team will set up displays in prominent locations such as workplaces, large retail stores, and various shows and fetes. These displays will showcase important information related to various fire safety themes, including but not limited to smoke alarms, planning an escape from fire, arson, electrical safety, safety with candles, firework safety, and cigarette safety. Visitors will have access to these themes in the form of downloadable resources from our website, or through the distribution of leaflets, which can be obtained from the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service.

Fat Pan Demonstration Unit

Photograph of The Fat Pan Demonstration Unit

The Fat Pan Demonstration Unit is a crucial tool used at various locations throughout the Isle of Wight to educate people about the dangers associated with encountering a fat pan fire. The unit is specifically designed to showcase the severe consequences that can occur if inappropriate action is taken during such a fire. Most injuries occur when people attempt to extinguish the fire by applying water to the burning fat or oil. This results in an explosive effect, causing the boiling liquid to erupt out of the container/pan in the form of a fireball. The explosive action exacerbates the fire, causing it to spread to other areas and engulf anyone nearby with flames and burning liquid. Injuries resulting from a fat pan fire can be particularly severe and traumatic.


The fire department recommends that individuals evacuate the house and contact them in case of this type of fire. We illustrate this “explosive” situation by utilizing the Fat Pan Demonstration Unit. The most effective way to address such a fire would be to turn off the heat source and then use a cover to extinguish or smother the flames; using water should always be avoided. While we discourage individuals from attempting to tackle this type of fire, we understand that some may try. Thus, it is crucial to make the hazards apparent to them.

Photograph of The Fat Pan Demonstration Unit

The Fat Pan Demonstration Unit belongs to the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Services and is transported to events by the Community Safety support vehicle. Aside from demonstrating the origin of fat pan fires and the risks they pose, the unit contains a storage compartment that highlights prevalent “kitchen appliance faults.”


The unit is used at large public festivals and fetes and, when requested by groups or organizations, to help educate people about such dangers.

A small quantity of oil or fat is heated in a pan. We  also demonstrate that by allowing the oil to ‘over heat’ it will ignite by itself, without a flame being applied directly to the oil or fat.

Chip pan fire in progress

After 3-5 minutes of being heated the oil or fat produces large amounts of smoke and combustible gases.

Chip pan fire in progress

When the temperature of the oil or fat surpasses its ignition point, it ignites without an external trigger. With an abundant fuel source (i.e., oil or fat) available to sustain the flames, the fire grows in intensity and size. The temperature in the area above the fire at ceiling level can rapidly escalate to 800-1000°C, leading to the fire spreading to nearby surfaces like cabinets or wall cladding.


The worst possible thing to do with this type of fire is to add water in the hope of extinguishing the flames.

Chip pan fire in progressChip pan fire in progressChip pan fire in progress

The above pictures illustrate the effects of using a very minute amount of water (less than half of a teacup) to extinguish a fire. As soon as the water makes contact with the fire, it immediately transforms into steam and expands at a rate of 1700 times its initial volume. In other words, the volume of water increases 1700 times when it transforms into steam from its liquid (water) state.

A sizable fireball composed of burning oil or fat is generated, often accompanied by an explosive force. Furthermore, the unburned gases located at ceiling height may ignite, resulting in anyone or anything in close proximity to the pan being engulfed in flames. This type of fire incident typically leads to horrific injuries.


We do not recommend that you tackle fires but rather close the kitchen door, leave the house and call the Fire and Rescue Service on 999.